Home Remedies for Stomach Flu

From undercooked meat to contaminated water, the threat of gastroenteritis lurks around many different corners, including exotic vacations and kindergarten classrooms. While the condition is commonly referred to as the ‘stomach flu,’ your sickness has nothing to do with influenza. To settle an upset abdominal region and ease other symptoms, it’s suggested to become familiar with home remedies for stomach flu.

stomach flu

What is Stomach Flu?

When your stomach and intestines (also known as the gastrointestinal tract) become irritated and inflamed, you might be suffering from a case of gastroenteritis (the stomach flu). Often found in spoiled food or contaminated water, bacteria or parasites cause an infection that lasts one to two days (for viruses) and sometimes more than a week for bacterial infections [1].

Other causes of stomach flu include [2]:

• Shellfish – especially raw or undercooked oysters
• Sharing utensils, towels or food with someone with stomach flu
• Eating food handled by contaminated individuals
• Food irritations – like lactose intolerance to dairy products
• Rotovirus – most common cause of infectious diarrhea in infants and children
• Noroviruses – including the Norwalk virus known to attack cruise ships

Symptoms of Stomach Flu

One of the most glaring signs of stomach flu is a watery, typically non-bloody stool accompanied by abdominal cramping and pain. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, low-grade fever, and the occasional muscle aches or headache. Viral gastroenteritis symptoms usually surface within one to three days after being infected. For some, the symptoms last an average of two days, but others battle the stomach flu for as long as 10 days.

Stomach Flu Home Remedies

The condition of your immune system plays an important role in your susceptibility to the stomach flu. Daycare centers and nursing homes are notorious for spreading gastroenteritis because they cater to children and the elderly, who possess underdeveloped or weakened immune systems. To combat symptoms, consider the following home remedies for stomach flu:

a) Sports Drinks:

Vomiting and diarrhea can remove much-needed potassium and sodium (known as electrolytes) from the body while you are sick with the stomach flu. Sipping sports drinks (like Gatorade and Powerade) can recoup loses and deliver electrolytes back into your system.

b) Ginger Ale:

Ease nausea associated with stomach flu by sipping flat ginger ale.

c) Caraway Tea:

With an empty stomach, drink a cup of tea made with one teaspoon of caraway seeds added to one cup of boiling water. Cover the drink and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the contents and sip throughout the day.

d) Apples:

Delivering a healing boost to your intestinal system, eating applesauce and baked apples can treat stomach flu symptoms.

e) Garlic:

Possessing antibiotic properties, garlic targets the bacteria associated with the stomach flu, as well as protects the natural bacterial flora found in the intestine.

f) Clear Fluids:

Treat stomach flu symptoms with clear liquids, such as water, weak tea and flat soda. As you start feeling better, you can graduate to apple juice and fat-free chicken broth.

g) Peppermint:

With its soothing effects on the stomach, consider using peppermint to treat your stomach flu discomfort. Consider lozenges and peppermint tea.

h) Ginger:

Ginger not only eases digestive issues, but also works wonders on stomach flu symptoms. One of the best ways to treat your condition is to slowly sip ginger tea. Make sure not to overdo it.

i) Ease Into Solid Foods:

As your appetite starts to return, avoid irritating your stomach by introducing bland foods to your diet. Choose plain and easy-to-digest foods, such as rice, breads, cereals, and potatoes. Eat chicken to increase the amount of protein in your diet, which helps boosts your immunity against any viral infections wreaking havoc in your body.


Resources

[1] http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/gastroenteritis
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/viral-gastroenteritis/DS00085/DSECTION=causes

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